International grain markets strengthened last week. However, a fall in crude oil prices, the advancing US harvests and a stronger US dollar saw markets fall back this week. While there is still uncertainty about US maize yields, clarity is now close.

The US maize harvest reached 10% completion by 19 September, compared with 9% on average (USDA).

The EU27 maize yield forecast is now pegged at 7.78t/ha according to the EU crop monitoring body (MARS). This is only just above the five-year average of 7.75t/ha and slightly below the European Commission’s end-of-August estimate.

Ukraine’s maize and soya bean harvests are also in the early stages, with yields reported to be above average, according to the MARS. If high Ukrainian maize yields are confirmed, this could also add short-term pressure to prices.

Longer-term, the outlook is still very uncertain, with low grain and oilseeds stocks. Also, the possibility of another La Niña weather event continues to cast uncertainty over South American crop potential.

French-based Stratégie Grains cut its estimate of EU soft wheat production in 2021/22 by a further 2.4 million tonnes (Mt), to 129.1Mt. EU soft wheat exports are pegged at 31.0Mt, 1.7Mt lower than in the organisation’s last report.

Barley production in the EU was also reduced by 700,000t, at 52.3Mt.

Native prices

This week saw the first major co-op announce its 2021 harvest prices. Glanbia will pay its members €210/t for green feed barley and €220/t for green feed wheat.

Remember that this price includes a €10/t trading bonus for members who purchased the minimum required inputs, as well as the standard transport allowance (€3/t) for delivery to drying locations.

Glanbia will also pay its members €255/t for beans, €195/t for feed oats, €260/t for gluten-free oats and €535/t for oilseed rape. These prices include bonuses. All eyes are now on Dairygold which had yet to announce price at time of going to print.


Elsewhere, Boortmalt’s malting barley price for harvest 2021 was settled this week. The price is developed by calculating the average price from the Free-On-Board Creil Planet malting barley price at the close of business every Wednesday from 15 April to 22 September.

Following the addition of last Wednesday’s price of €280/t, the average stood at €235.65/t. At close of business on Tuesday 21 September, the FOB Creil price was €281/t. This price places the average at €237.54/t.